Friday, December 19, 2008

This Week's Thoughts

It's Friday!! Time for the Quick Takes meme. Be sure to visit Jennifer F. to see the musings of others.

(1) Life does not slow down. Ever. There is always something that fills the time. When will I learn that?

When I visited my grandmother in her later years, I could sense her feeling exactly the opposite, wondering how she would fill the time, wishing for something to break up the hours she spent alone. I try to remind myself of that when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Though it seems unlikely now, someday I may pray for something to do.

(2) I've had a sick kid again this week. Poor guy has struggled all fall. I feel sorry for him and have tried hard to be supportive and compassionate, but MAN it wears me out, which makes me feel guilty...oh brother, you see where I'm going again. Moving on...

(3) All the chicks are in the nest for a few weeks and an ice storm in our neck of the woods kept us all at home last night. Is there any other way to say "Aaaah...."?

(4) I have been very aware of my own inability this week to bring people to Jesus. As much as I want to, as hard as I try to make Christ relevant and applicable to lives, I can't. Only God can turn the light on. The waiting, my impatience with God and confusion over how He works, makes me cognizant of my humanity.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
and take us to heaven to live with Thee there.


Amen, Jesus.

(5) I'm still not enjoying the "Christmas season." I'm merely surviving it, making lists and remaking lists and running and planning and...ugh. Would an earlier start on things help? The wimpy part of me thinks the best solution is a cruise or exotic vacation every December. I know, I know. Buck up, Tam. Just get the job done. But is this the right attitude to have regarding the greatest event in history besides Christ's resurrection? Is it unrealistic of me to wish only to be a shepherd watching baby Jesus in the dark stillness of night? Doesn't that sound great? How can I do that?

(6) One of the things I really hate about this season is the question, "What do you want for Christmas?" I know it is helpful for people wanting to purchase a gift you will enjoy, but it makes us start thinking about all the things we want. Is that healthy? We're all perfectly content until we have to have an answer for "What do you want for Christmas?" Suddenly we need, we want, we dream for "things" we normally wouldn't think about. Something's not right about that. This is why I struggle this time of year. I don't like what it does to us.

(7) The gift of Jesus is so hard to comprehend. I am thankful for a better appreciation of it this year since my realization that God uses our pain for others. I've been pondering this week if true love for others necessitates loss. If I embrace my own loss, those things God answered with a "no," and understand how He used it for the benefit of others, I gain a better understanding of the Father's pain in sending His Son to earth. Last week I grieved an old hurt again as God revealed this reason for his "no"--it was for others. It didn't seem quite fair or worth it, but I know He has sacrificed much more. So many, SO MANY people don't understand the significance of Jesus, don't recognize such great love, even dismissing it as fairy tale, yet God gave anyway in hopes of bringing a few to Him. How that must hurt, and yet He loves us so much He found it worth it. Can you wrap your head around that at all? Wow. It's truly mind-boggling.

It's made me want to go through all the pain in my life and see how it may have been used for His plan. I want to feel the hurt again to understand how He must have felt becoming human, knowing this Ultimate Gift would be rejected by some. It puts a pit in my stomach to think about such sacrifice. God thought it worth it just for me, for you. Who are we, Lord, that You would be mindful of us?


Ponder that this Christmas, my friends. Feel your losses and better understand His. To God be the glory.


4 comments:

Annette said...

The way you are able to pour out your heart points many to Jesus. More than you may know. Love you and have a wonderful Christmas season with your family! I hope your family is able to get and stay healthy for the rest of the season.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Incredible thoughts and questions here. I have felt the same way as you about Christmas AND about whether His ministry in me is making a difference or not. It always is, either through one of my children or a small group of friends or to the masses. You're probably making more of a difference than you think!

I love your authentic voice. It is refreshing!

Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment at the Cafe yesterday. That meant so much, as it was a very difficult devo to write!

Looking UP with you,
LauraLee

Brenda said...

I am enjoying Christmas so much more this year. It was by accident. I was so busy with school I only went shopping a couple of times and bought the majority on line. I haven't had to dwell on the stress of it because I have been writing papers and preparing for an exam. Makes me wonder if a lot of the stress is self induced. Trying to hard to make it perfect, you know. Maybe that is just me.

Betsy Markman said...

A hearty "Amen" to the whole entry, but especially to this:

"I have been very aware of my own inability this week to bring people to Jesus. As much as I want to, as hard as I try to make Christ relevant and applicable to lives, I can't. Only God can turn the light on. The waiting, my impatience with God and confusion over how He works, makes me cognizant of my humanity."

And incredibly important insight; one that is glorifying to God (since He alone can save) and ultimately freeing for us (as we cast that burden on Him).

Great thoughts!